Osteoporosis can be stopped – Bone loss and lifestyle connection
Osteoporosis is far from just affecting old people. Every third woman over 50 must expect it to develop. The treacherous part of this is that the disease often goes unnoticed for a long time. This is exactly why it’s important to pay closer attention to bone loss and lifestyle connection.
Imagine having to lift a heavy box in the basement. As always it should be a fast task, and as usual, you do not think of your back as it never caused problems before. And right there it happens: A sharp pain shoots through your back and lames you for days.
An ordinary lumbago, you think? Perhaps, or osteoporosis could be behind it. With bone loss, even a wrong move can lead to vertebral fractures. It hurts like hell, but it’s much worse. Failure to treat the fracture results in chronic pain, spinal curvature, and respiratory problems.
Often our lifestyle is to blame
A disease that strikes quietly and goes unnoticed for a long time: Osteoporosis is also called the creeping bone snatcher by doctors.
It used to be believed that only old people were affected by it, but now we know that bone loss starts much earlier.
Often we only recognize it when it makes problems at a young age. Experts, therefore, assume that there is a high number of unreported cases of osteoporosis.
Officially, around 10 million people are affected in this country, of which 80 percent are women. Our bone density is significantly related to the hormones.
When the menopause decreases with estrous levels, it decreases rapidly. At the age of 70, women lost an average of 40 percent of their bone mass, compared to just 12 percent of men.
What we need to understand is that this is the normal aging process. In osteoporosis, the bones fade faster and become so porous that breaks and adhesions occur.
Right now is the time to start mindful living
The main causes: an unhealthy lifestyle – especially smoking, obesity, lack of exercise. Although heredity plays a role too, it is only a side factor.
Also, heavy underweight, rigorous diets, extreme sports and eating disorders can lead to osteoporosis. Only in a few cases are medications such as cortisone or certain diseases such as hyperthyroidism, Crohn’s disease or diabetes responsible.
Nothing can be done against family stress and hereditary impact, but we have our own lifestyle in our own hands.
Calcium and vitamin D
We can specifically strengthen our bones and, thus, prevent osteoporosis; especially with a healthy diet. A lot of calcium is the key.
Women of all ages should watch their calcium supply, but women over 50 should definitely take between 1000 to 1500 milligrams a day.
You can find this mineral in dairy products, mineral water, cheese, green vegetables and fruits. On the other hand, you should refrain from sugar, phosphates (eg in meat and sausage, all prepared meals and soft drinks) and fat. The more industrial additives we consume, the less our body can use calcium.
Enormously important for bone health is also vitamin D, which is difficult to administer from the diet. It is present in small quantities in oily fish, but most of it our organisms must produce through sunlight.
This is why many people have too little vitamin D in their blood, especially in winter. Dietary supplements, too, can help replenish the vitamin D storage within your body.
Second central measure for the prevention of bone loss is sport: Like our muscles, the bones need regular exercise, so that the metabolism gets going and provides all cells with sufficient nutrients.
The minimum is 30 minutes of walking or cycling every day. Ideal are several quick training sessions per week, such as jogging, walking or dancing.
And if the bone density nevertheless decreases rapidly?
Do not panic, bone loss can be treated well. In mild cases, an attempt is initially made to stop the bone loss with tablets, the so-called bisphosphonates.
An active substance called strontium ranelate, taken daily as a powder, is intended to strengthen the bones again. Recently, they also began to use an antibody, which currently is the most modern form of medication.
This blocks the messenger substance in the organism that controls bone resorption. This antibody, also called ‘Rank Ligand Inhibitor,’ only needs to be injected under the skin twice a year.
Good to know
Whether osteoporosis is present, only a bone density measurement can clarify. Two-spectrum X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), which measures lime content in the lumbar vertebrae or femoral neck at very low levels of radiation, provides the most reliable test results.
This study is recommended to women over age 45 if any of the following conditions apply: They have had a fractured bone, or their parents or grandparents had femoral neck fractures. This also applies to women with a body mass index below 20. From the age of 70, every woman should get X-rays.
I hope you learned more about the importance of bone loss and lifestyle connection. I wanted to point it out, because especially women cannot start early enough to take care of their bones.
While we are young, we take our bone and joint health for granted. Many times we forget that the ailments, which we often develop during our senior years, actually formed during our youth.
There are many diseases that we can prevent from developing if we pay more attention to our health and treat our bodies with more TLC.
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